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Ireland June 2012

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Oct 5th, 2011, 10:05 AM
  #1
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Ireland June 2012

My fiance and I are thinking about taking a trip to Ireland for our honeymoon at the end of June 2012 and we hope to be there 9 days. After doing some reading, I think we are going to fly into Dublin and out of Shannon. We also plan on renting a car for our trip (we won't have it when we are in Dublin). The 3 main places that I have narrowed down to visit is Dublin, Dingle, and Galway. Basically, what I am asking from you guys, is how long we should spend in each place, are there any stops we should make along the way, or should we drop one of the 3 places.
crhq5 is offline  
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Oct 5th, 2011, 11:06 AM
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I think the answer depends on what you want. I think that 3 days in each area is very reasonable given the time you have. (Many people try to do the entire island in 7 or 10 days). Renting a car is a must (IMO) so look at a map and decide how you want to get from Dublin to the other places and in what order. Galway is closer to Dublin but you still burn half a day to get there. Look at the posts here on Fodor's and remember that distances are somewhat deceiving - it takes longer than you think to get around. Read up on the various destinations and what you can see getting to them. Whatever you choose to do, I am sure you will simply love Ireland and its people. Save time to hang out in pubs or places where you can mingle and don't just drive all the time. While you can see a lot of things and places, your best experiences and memories will come from interacting with the Irish.

Good luck

Joe
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Oct 7th, 2011, 08:54 AM
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You've got a great start so far, and have made some good decisions and pre-planning the trip (i.e., flying into Dublin, out of Shannon, not having a car in Dublin, etc.)

Plan on 30-35mph on most roads. Highways (of which there are very few) will be faster.

Decide what you like doing - big cities? Charming villages? Stunning landscapes? Sculptured gardens? Island life? Cozy pubs? Trad music? This will help shape your decisions.

I preferred Westport to Galway, but that is because I grew up in a big city, and wanted the smaller places. Westport is still a city, but a small, walkable one. Dingle is tiny, more like a hamlet - one short street of shops and pubs, but with great music and good food.

Once you know what you like, then we can make better suggestions for you
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Oct 7th, 2011, 12:28 PM
  #4
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Thank you guys for your suggestions so far. We are both in our early 30s. I wanted to experience a big city, which is why we are staying a couple days in Dublin. After that, I want to experience it all. I want to see charming villages, cozy pubs, traditional music, and stunning landscapes. My fiance and I are the adventurous type, and we are looking to have an experience, so to speak. We also like to avoid tourist traps and like to get to know an area, its traditions, and its people. I know that I can't do it all only being there 9 days, but I guess I want to get the biggest bang for my buck.
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Oct 10th, 2011, 05:12 AM
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OK, then. Once you are out of Dublin, Dingle would be a good step down - it's a lovely little town, with more pubs than anything else. It is touristy, but not over-the-top touristy. The drive around the Dingle peninsula is stunning, and the drive up over Conor Pass is sublime if the fog lifts Exploring the north side (Brandon Point) is worth a trip, as well.

Going up to Galway, though, I'd skip. I would, if looking for charming places and such, stick around County Clare for my third stop. We stayed in Ballyvaughan on the north end of the county, and there's Doolin in the south west bit. The Cliffs of Moher, Poulnabrone Dolmen, Ailwee Caves, there are all sorts of places to explore. Just pick a road and drive - you'll see lots of hiking trails throughout the area as well.

You might even take a couple nights on the Aran Islands - there are ferries out of Doolin or Rossveal near Galway. The Doolin ferries are more subject to weather, but are closer. We stayed two nights on Inis Mor on our last visit - it was lovely! You can't take your car on the island, but you can rent bikes, walk (the biggest island is 10 miles long, 1 mile thick), or take the ubiquitous taxis everywhere. Or a pony trap Dun Aengosa is a must - or take a look at the seal colony. Explore Seven Churches. Have a pint at Joe Watty's and a wonderful meal.

If you must travel farther afield, I wouldn't stay in Galway - I'd go up to Westport instead, or one of the smaller towns in Connemara, such as Roundstone, Cong, or the like. Explore the area. Perhaps Achill Island or Clare Island? All are stunning.

The problem with Ireland is there is too much to choose from - but choose you must. You can never plan the trip as if you'll never come back.
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Oct 15th, 2011, 09:03 PM
  #6
 
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Hi, I also think that Dublin, Co. Clare, and Dingle would be a very nice Irish vacation. I also agree that you should skip Galway - it has terrible traffic, and too much tourist hype.
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Oct 16th, 2011, 07:02 AM
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Just a different option would be to Drop Dingle and concentrate on the North side of the Shannon after spending some time in Dublin.

Galway itself is a small university city and more like a large town. Yes it is touristy but the locals manage to find themselves drinking in none tourist pubs (something you cant do in Dingle during the season).

To the North West of Galway you have the Connamara spanning County Galway and Mayo. This is one of the nicest places to be in Ireland.

Between Galway and the Shannon You have County Clare. Most tourists will tell you about Doolin or Ballyvaughan but there is a lot more to Clare than the Burrens baron moonscape on the northern coastal side. The Burren if you take time to explore is another of Irelands magical places and then there is East Clare. Bordering Lough Derg you will find that Clare is green and tree filled with many small villages, lots of music and locals that don't see tourists as walking wallets.

So 3 days Dublin, 3 days Connamara, 3 days Clare (Ennis is a wonderful touring base with lots going on) and 3 days to either keep everyone else happy mixing with the tourists in Dingle or just filling a few gaps as you feel fit.

Have a happy Honeymoon It belongs to you whatever you decide.
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